So you have invested thousands of dollars on what you hoped to be a killer website and/or blog. Yet something is still missing. You are still lacking social engagement.
You may be creating the right content but you are making it too difficult for people to share it with their friends and community. Visitors to your site may want to engage with you on other social networks and become part of your community. The problem is they can’t do such if they are not invited.
You can’t be too shy in inviting them to join your other platforms. You don’t have to tweet noise at them all day asking them to join you on Facebook. Instead, create compelling content and kindly include social plugins that make it easy for them to join you on other social networks, share your content if they so choose to do such.
We get many calls from small to enterprise corporate organizations asking us “please help make our site and online presence more social and get more customers.”
There is no easy answer to do such overnight, and no plug-in is going to solve your online marketing problems. However, there are few ways you can increase engagement in the short term as you work on building a real online conversion funnel and integrated strategy that will deliver results. One of the first ways it to ensure your website or blog is social friendly. Make it easy for people to share, engage and contact you if they are interested to learn more about your products or services.
Below are 10 of my favorite WordPress plugins to increase engagement. While there are many more that could be included on this list, these are my favorite and what have helped my blog thrive the past few years.
Please feel free to add any I missed that you know and love in the comment section below.
10 WordPress Plugins to Increase Social Engagement and Build Community
1. Gravity Forms
One of the most important features any website or blog must have is the ability to contact the owner. Gravity forms make this easy. You can easily setup forms and use them on as many pages as you want with just a copy / paste of the short code via the WordPress toolbar when editing a page or post. Requires no programming or super technical skills to get started. You can set it up to send an automatic reply to user submitting the form and also notify administrators as appropriate. It integrates easily with iContact and aWeber email marketing programs in addition to numerous other platforms and technologies.
2. Digg Digg
Enabling your visitors to easily share your content with their network is a key requirement for any successful blogger. Digg Digg is a social share bar that was acquired by BufferApp in 2011.
I recommend including at minimum the Twitter, Facebook like and share, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Buffer buttons. Buffer enables users to set a schedule for auto posting content to their social networks over a period of time versus all at once. Take time to learn how the plug-in works and how to modify it to your specific website design. There are options for the bar to float on the side of the page or have a single row of buttons below or above the content.
At minimum I recommend you include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your RSS feed and Google plus if you’re using it. Additional options are of course Pinterest, Slideshare, and more. Choose the buttons based upon your goals, objectives and audience.
4. Facebook Like Box
You can easily use the code provided by Facebook to include a like box anywhere you want on your blog or website. You can opt to include the conversation stream. At minimum I suggest you include the faces of the people who like your page. By default it will include friends of the person viewing the page if there are any.
6. All in One SEO or Yoast for SEO Optimization.
One of the first things you also need is the ability for people to find your blog when searching for content. The model “just build it and they will come” is a myth. It no longer works that way, sorry. Truth is it never did.
Both of these plug-ins add much efficiency to properly optimizing your blog or website for the search engines. We use All in One SEO and have had great results for ourselves and client sites. However, we are also testing Yoast on a couple of sites right now. Both are good.
9. nRelate Related Content
*Note: This plug-in was updated from the original LinkWithin that originally appeared here.
10. Disqus Comment System
We have tested several different wordpress commenting systems and always come back to Disqus. Why you ask? Because it simply works. I am also a big fan of LiveFyre but had some conflict issues between Infusionsoft and LiveFyre. I got tired of dealing with the issues and them pointing fingers at each other. I wound up leaving them both thru the process. Disqus doesn’t have these problems.
I also find the comment engagement with Disqus to be of higher quality than that of some of the other comment systems that are primarily attracting people who’s main goal is to get a link back to their site. I’d rather have less comments but higher quality and from people who want to have a real conversation.
What You Say?
- Whitepaper: 15 Tips to Stomp Status Quo & Zoom Your Brand
- Blog Post: 12 Tips to Rock Your Blog this Week
- Blog Post: 25 Content Marketing Ideas for People Who Don’t Like to Write
- Blog Post: 28 Attributes of Good Content Marketing to Rock Your Social Business!
- Blog Post: Content marketing is not a new shiny object invented via social media
- Blog Post: 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing & Social Media Don’t Work